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Negotiaing with new Home Builders with the help of a Buyer’s Agent
Do New House Builders negotiate their price? Most do not, and here is why: Let’s say you as a buyer of a new home can get the builder to lower the list price on the house you are interested in by $10,000. You decide to buy and actually pay less that the person that bought the same floor plan in the same neighborhood before you. The property values in the neighborhood are now going down. Then a month later you found out that another buyer got an even better deal than you did on the same home model with the same upgrades you have. They values of homes in your neighborhood are now going down further. Nobody is going to like the builder and the neighborhood is not going to have great reputation. Of course if you are working as your own contractor for your own custom home you may only be interested in checking out some of the popular floor plans you can choose from.
Builders like to keep the list prices the same until they are forced to raise their base price to cover added material and/or labor costs. This is a better option than cutting corners with cheaper labor and materials that will obviously lead to an inferior final residential product.
With that said, most builders are willing to negotiate on other items, and a good real estate Buyer’s Agent can usually help you get the very best overall deal on the new home of your choice. These Realtors have typically worked with the local home builders, and they can help guide you in the right direction so you know what to ask for and what will make the most sense to you for the value of your property.
Things you might consider asking for in your negotiations with the new home builder could include Free Upgrades such as Granite counter topsinstead of Corian counter tops which are a solid surface composite material made by DuPont. Another option might be a new refrigerator if not included with the home purchase. Such upgrades can add good value to your home without influencing the value of other homes in the area. Perhaps paying less for a “lot Premium” would get you the added value you are looking for. Or perhaps having the builder install the grass sod for the entire yard instead of just the front and sides of the property.
Some builders have been know to provide Gift Card to a local home and garden store to help you pay for anything you might want from window coverings to a Gas Grill. In golf communities sometimes the builder will offer a Club membership for a year or two.
As a member of The Real Estate Savings Center Network, your Buyer’s Agent either knows or can help you find the “hot buttons” for builders in your area, and help get you more of what you are looking for a no additional cost.
New Home Inspections - You might not think you need an inspection on your new home. Some builders frown on it if you bring in a home inspector for new construction because of what they might find which usually means added cost to them. On the other hand a really good home builder just looks at an inspection as part of the process and they are willing to accommodate as long as you coordinate the date with them so everyone is on the same page. The builder will have to know when the utilities are turned on and when the inspector can get in. It is a good idea to read up on professional home inspectors so you know what to look for.
Depending on the size of the home a good home inspector will likely charge you $300 to $500. New homes on a slab foundation are much easier than homes built on a crawl space which requires the inspector to get under the home. Most often an inspector will find a few things that need some correction, and that is what they get paid for. Even if there is not a lot needed it is still a good idea for your added peace of mind when making what can often be the biggest purchase to that point in your lifetime.
Home builders also offer their own form of inspection. Initially you will do a final walk-through a few days before closing to complete what is called a “punch list”. Together with the builder or the builder representative you will walk through each area inside and out looking for anything that needs attention such as: touch up paint, carpet trim, sticky doors, missing hardware, light switches that don’t work, and anything else you may not be happy with. The builder will bring his finish and cleaning crew in to take care of these items before closing. The usually after 60-days and near the end of the first year the builder will follow up again to make sure their are no big issues with the house settling or with any structural elements that are covered by the builder’s warranty.